Academic Training - Is Studying (Investing) In Your Future Worth the Effort?
The most important tool is motivation. I have spent more than 18 years in universities and colleges and found that my education has helped me get jobs but has not made me rich. I have also found that it has been the real-world applications that have helped me become the skilled counselor, psychologist, educator, journalist, or business professional - even though in the case of the last, I received no business education whatsoever. The most successful people are not always college-educated. They have succeeded through discipline, persistence, resourcefulness, principles, and integrity. Some of the most educated people I know are homeless. Universities have trained them, but life, or their aptitude to life, has failed them. In today's world, a college education can help, but it is your qualities that help you succeed or fail. So a college education is worth the effort and cost if you squeeze that degree for all it is worth. Ultimately, motivation and personal qualities are the defining factors of success or failure.
Academic training seems to me to be like the key in the door. The more reputable the name of the college you attend, the more likely you are find opportunities in your chosen field. Degrees go far in opening doors that would otherwise remain closed to you. For instance, when I was applying for jobs in academic writing, most companies would only consider me if I show them university degrees. Similarly, too, I have worked in education, journalism, social work, counseling, and research but would have found it excruciating, if not impossible, to enter these fields without my degrees. The more responsible the field, the more you need a degree. So if you want to become a lawyer or a doctor, I would recommend your investing effort and cost into getting a college education. You would need it to achieve your goals.
On the other hand, studies show that some of the wealthiest people are college dropouts or uneducated. I also know from my own experience that it has been life that has helped me become the skilled counselor, educator, or writer. Theory gave me the base, but application gave me so much more. I got to where I am through hard work. I taught myself - had no high-school education - and won my way through an Associates in Psychology to graduating with a Masters in Honors in Advanced Logic and Philosophy. My university published my thesis (on law) as Google eBook and I won Psi-chi membership. But I became a serial entrepreneur and a long-term staff writer for Deep Blue Financial because I taught myself all I could on economic and business and I learned through evaluating my failures. School didn't teach me these subjects; the world taught me and I got to where I am through persistence, resourcefulness, and hard work.
So in short: Is relevant college education worth the effort and cost? Yes - if you invest your time in college to acquiring the relevant skills. College also helps you by giving you that piece of paper that opens doors. But college only helps you if you use it. Ivy League graduates can end up searching for doorways for shelter whilst uneducated children can stretch themselves to change the world. One hundred top entrepreneurs succeeded without college education. Self-taught Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States whilst Walt Disney dropped out of high school. College goes far, but principles, hard work, and motivation go further. You want to succeed: pair that degree with hard work and principles. Those are your guarantees.